Heinz baby food alert [General]

2009 Dec 11
Not that any self-respecting foodie would be feeding this crap to their kids anyway


2009 Dec 11
"Not that any self-respecting foodie would be feeding this crap to their kids anyway."

Zym - On behalf of all the new moms, old moms, and grand moms, that frequent OF... I gotta ask did you even read this recall? Or did you just form an opinion because it said "Heinz Baby Food"?

You are sadly misinformed... this ISN'T a fruits, veggie or meat product (which I agree one can certainly do better by making their own)... The fact is this is a cereal... ya know PABLUM where every Canadian baby starts their transition to solid food from breast milk or formula. I think that if you asked your wife, or your mother you'd find out that such a product was both part of your son's lives, as well as your own (Pablum is been around since 1931).

So this is a very serious recall.... it will effect a lot of people, Parents & Children.

2009 Dec 11
I know it is pablum - which is exactly why I wrote what I wrote. We never fed our kids that crap and I'm honestly not sure why anyone would. It was recommended by our doctor - who seemed to be incredibly misinformed on infant nutrition.

If we wanted to feed our kids cereal we fed them cereal - cooked oats, rice, whatever. The main part of our boys transition to solids involved whatever we were eating at the time and was age appropriate - i.e. following the allergen charts for the first 2 years of their lives and only introducing things at certain periods. Mainly vegetables in the early stages. And we did not just blindly start feeding them food at X months as the "experts" recommend. We waited until they started grabbing for our food, which is when you are really supposed to start introducing solids. For one of our guys - I forget which one - that was close to a year.

I know it is a serious recall - maybe people will think twice before putting cement into their children's stomachs.

OK, I lied a bit up there - with our first son we decided to try this stuff because our doctor kept telling us that he would not get certain nutrients without it - our son hated it, it tasted like crap to us, and it bunged him up pretty incredibly which is why I called it "cement". I think we tried it for a week or so and then gave it up.

It is recommended for certain nutrients - which escape me at the moment - which "they" say are otherwise absent from an infant's diet. But that only applies to infants who are not breast fed.

BTW, it was an incredibly sexist comment to suggest that my wife was the only one who'd know what my kids ate as infants.

2009 Dec 11
I was trying to make a point... that you were being condesending to all those who actually "followed their Pediatrician's advice". Some people actually take that info very much to heart... be they misinformed that is a matter of opinion.

And I see you continue to malign them with this post as well.

As to your closing remark, that I was expressing a sexist comment about your wife, that was never my intent at all... but then I'm not surprised that you've chosen to focus on that element of my post.

2009 Dec 11
Big hug!

2009 Dec 11
Well, my dear wife would tell me "you catch more flies with honey than vinegar" and I'm sure the acidic nature of my posts on this topic probably won't get many people to do a bit of reading on their own concerning this sort of thing. Then again, being a foodie site, hopefully it will.

I get acidic about this because of the way in which the food industry has people brainwashed. It makes me rather angry. Sorry for taking that out on you.

You say yourself this was around since 1931. What did infants do before then? Starve? I hardly think so. They ate the same vegetables, fruits and grains that their parents were eating. And were generally healthier as a result.

And really, no, it is not a matter of opinion whether or not infants need that stuff. Anyone who tells you they do, is misinformed. Even your doctor. There is solid science to show it is not. Not to mention 10s of thousands of years of human evolution.

2009 Dec 11
I posted this nation wide recall on Japanese community site.
I hope many foodies who have read this recall will spread the word, so parents will be informed about this recall.

I think any food products should be safe, especially for babies and kids.
There was a very sad incident in my country,(about 50 years ago) so many babies were killed and poisoned from baby formula. Arsenic was in the formula...

2009 Dec 16
Aisu, I heard about that incident from a friend in Japan, very sad indeed.

Zym, there's *solid* science attesting to many things, including the notion that cow's milk is healthy for babies to drink as early as six months. Health Canada was touting this myth in the 60s and 70s on behalf of the dairy lobby.

Pablum is a supplement for children whose mothers cannot breastfeed. As much as I am in favour of breastmilk, LLL (La Leche League) scares the crap out of me; if a mom cannot breastfeed, then she shouldn't be forced to do it, in the same way that no parent should be required by their pediatrician to feed their child pablum.

Parents usually know what is best for their children, and honestly I would give the vast majority of them the benefit of the doubt.

2009 Dec 16
Straw Man LWB, Straw Man.


Nobody here is talking about forcing anyone to do anything. You are very correct that some people cannot breast feed - the number is somewhere around 2% to 3% of women.

In the US the number who DO NOT breastfeed is significantly higher than this due mostly to the draconian mat leave laws down there which give women 6 weeks - 6 weeks of mandatory mat leave!!! 6 effing weeks!

So what happens is women of course are forced to go back to work far earlier than they probably want to and even far before their bodies have properly healed from the ordeal of child birth. And as such, they are unable to continue breast feeding.

So things like this pablum gain a foothold there, and by extension here because like good little Canadians we want to be just like the Americans even though we swear up-and-down we don't, our actions speak far, far louder than our words.

And just to purposely open a big can of worms, I'll disagree that most parents know what is best for their kids. At least as far as health and nutrition goes, I think that the soaring levels of childhood obesity pretty much prove this contention to be false. I see what parents send their kids with to school, for lunch. Believe me, most of them do not have a clue what is best for their kids.

2009 Dec 16
Zym, you're doing exactly what I just did, changing the topic within the context of the argument to represent your own views. That Americans use pablum because of their antiquated parental leave laws is a bit irrelevant, IMHO. I agree that the parental leave laws are problematic, and that in some cases this leads to an increased use in pablum, but that does not mean by extension that Canadians blindly follow the Americans' lead. There are things that make us distinctly different here, such as our parental leave laws (particularly under CUPE and CIPP)and the extent to which corporations lobby the government. I'm not saying that there are no corporate lobbies in Canada, I'm merely suggesting that this is to a lesser extent than in the States.

The problem with breastmilk is that nobody benefits from it financially. LLL can only lobby so hard when they don't have investors to throw money at their platform.

Using childhood obesity as a sole measure for parenting skills is ineffective. Some children are obese because their parents are concerned about nutrition as per the Canada's Food Guide. It sounds out of whack, but consider that if a parent sees their child's health in the context of nutrients then the amount they are eating is no longer relevant. I also think that a blanket statement like the one I made should not be taken too seriously, because it's obviously full of holes; you decided to define "best" as "in their best physical health", whereas I was implying that parents know their child better than any pediatrician, nutritionist, teacher, coach or foodie.


2009 Dec 16
You are right that it is less-so here. But nonetheless most Canadians are bombarded every day with US advertising. And it works.

Also our medical community largely accepts whatever happens to the immediate South of us, without accounting for some of the differences you rightly point out.

You certainly nailed this one right on the head : "The problem with breastmilk is that nobody benefits from it financially"

For me it is simple : pablum is starting your child on packaged foods basically from birth. Why would anyone in their right mind want to do that?

2009 Dec 16
First let me say interesting discussion!

I started to write this reply prior to Noon (so before Zym's 12:05 post) then I had to drop it and come back to it, so I apologize if I am covering some of the same territory that has been discussed in the last hour, but I still see it as important overall... so here then is my cut & paste

=== === ===

Lady Who Brunches - Just so we are clear on this... Pablum and Infant Formula are two different things. Infant Forumla is designed for babies whose mothers cannot breastfeed (babies under 1 year), Pablum is designed as a first food (for those over 6 months of age). Pablum is an additional food group for babies who are either breastfeeding or on infant formula. Most Pediatricians "prescribe" it if they find that the baby is not being satisfied by breast milk / formula alone. So if the mother is reporting that the baby still seems hungry after breastfeeding, or is not going a long stretch between feedings (as would be the norm at 6 months). Which indeed as you say, could be a case of the mother not being able to produce enough breastmilk... or just a case of a hungry growing baby (which makes it in many cases the first choice for solid food).

Infant Formula = en.wikipedia.org
Pablum = en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pablum

Zym - "...around since 1931. What did infants do before then? Starve? I hardly think so."

Actually a lot of Canadian babies prior to 1931 were suffering from malnutrition, partly because of the mother's diets... unlike today, the same availability of vegetables, fruits and grains that we take for granted were not in the marketplace (you also have to remember that Pablum was invented during the Great Depression).

Pablum (a world recognized Canadian medical breakthru) is one of the leading causes in Canada's gains in the 20th Century in the decrease in infant mortality rates.

"And really, no, it is not a matter of opinion whether or not infants need that stuff. Anyone who tells you they do, is misinformed. Even your doctor. There is solid science to show it is not. Not to mention 10s of thousands of years of human evolution."

Whether Infant Cereal today in the 21st Century is a required elment in a Baby's Diet is indeed debateable... with the availability of a wide choice of quality foodstuffs a mother could indeed provide a wholesome diet to a baby thru breastmilk. However, there is certainly some who believe that breastmilk alone is not sufficient from 6 months onwards (or for a baby who is demanding more than the mother can provide - which really isn't that uncommon at around 6 months)... then the next step is to add infant cereal, which is typically done PRIOR to fruits and veggies... the progression of the introduction of foods to be in an organized order (due to allergies). Infant Cereals - Veggies - Fruits and onwards as the child develops teeth. Certainly a child who is in the 9 month to a year range can eat most things that the parent does as long as it is in a format that they can digest.

Today, products like Pablum (and other infant cereals) are still a standard in most North American homes, primarily due to their nutritionally completeness and ease of preparation... which is a HUGE factor for many families.

As to can we do better... well we in Canada, are fortunate to have longer Maternity Leaves vs other countries... and more and more New Mom's are able to stay home months vs weeks (some even as long as a year) so that getting babies over the hump from 6 to 9 months is much easier than it used to be. Which is also one of the reasons here in Canada that breastfeeding for a full year is now higly recommended. BUT, one should not be chastised if they choose to add an infant cereal to their baby's diet... as a sound nutritionally balanced food it is a good choice whether the reason be the inability to produce enough breastmilk, the mother needs the baby to sleep thru the night, or because of ease of prepartion vs more traditional methods (not all of us have the time or energy to take that route).

Elsewhere around the globe... products like infant formula and pablum are "standards" in WHO and UNICEF packs sent to developing countries and places in conflict. These are two of the most recognized contributors to the demise of infant mortality both in times of peace and upheaval. And if nothing else, then Pablum is still a great Canadian invention and what it can do for those who truly need to increase infant nutrition.

2009 Dec 16
This is just my personal experience about how baby formula and food helped me.
I am not intended to discuss if the baby food good or bad.

I used some baby food to feed my son. There were many reasons for that.
I breast-fed my son for the first month, but I had a serious health issue and I had a emergency surgery. My breast milk dried up due to the stress and excruciating pain. My breasts transformed from "water melon" to "dried plune" in one day :( I was also taking very strong medications which were not safe for baby. So I switched to baby formula. I had no choice.

After recovered from the surgery, I came to Canada. My son was 4 months old. It was in January. I suffered from severe postpartum and winter depression at the same time. Depression hit me really hard. Make matters worse, I had no friend or family to talk to. I couldn't drive ( I was scared of driving in the snow back then) so I stayed home all day with my fussy baby. He was very colicky. He didn't eat and sleep well from the day one. ( that means I couldn't sleep well for many months since the baby birth)
My mother sent me a baby food recipe book from Japan, I made so many different food for my son, but he didn't eat. I cried so many times. I felt I was a big failure as a mom. Even though my husband was very supportive, I totally lost confidence. I tried everything, but my son didn't eat what I made for him.
I didn't know what to do anymore, I was on the edge. One day my husband came home found wife and baby crying in the dark room. kitchen was all messed up, dirty diaper on the floor, wife still wearing pj, dark circles under her eyes. So he bought some baby food and tried to feed our son. our son didn't like it so much, but he at least ate some of it.

After that day, I used baby food here and there, when I was tired...I needed to take a break and take care of myself mentally and physically. My son enjoyed bottled fruits puree and juice.
As soon as spring came, I recovered from depression. My son remained as fussy eater for few more years, but now he eats almost anything (except natto. )

2009 Dec 16
Aisu Kurimu - Heartfelt Thanks for sharing your story (it isn't always easy, I know). Interestingly, I too suffered with "winter depression" after moving to Ottawa after the birth of my first baby... it was a very difficult time to be alone in a new city without many of the connections that New Moms need (ie friendships that are made thru Pre-Natal Classes etc). I strongly suggest that if anyone is considering having a baby and relocating at the same time, that they change plans! There is a reason those "potential for depression quizes" give big points to things like New Baby, New Home, New Job, etc. Too much change in a short period of time can be a bad thing.


There are indeed many Mom's (if not all of us) who at times have felt Motherhood to be an overwhelming responsility, myself included. Some of these "feelings of guilt" I think are a natural part of our nurturing nature, but some of it is because of the things that society expects of us, and then us of ourselves (a vicious circle). There is a reason that they call it "the hardest job in the world".

I don't see anything wrong with people choosing to use prepared infant forumula or baby foods, they more than likely know it isn't the ideal situation, but sometimes it is the only option at the time. Although, I personally certainly wouldn't make it the only source of nutrition for a child who can sit up, crawl, and has some teeth... I would indeed say that the best choice at that point would be to add some (if not all) whole foods that have been prepared in such a way that a small child could digest them.

Like everything else when it comes to food... it is a personal choice, and can be made for a number of reasons... the baby foods that are available today are not all "crap" like they once were. Times have changed, there are indeed quality products out there... like everything else a Parent has to be informed and read labels.

2009 Dec 16
These comments have made me remember my first child. He was 12lbs at birth and I could not give him enough breast milk. My doctor suggested formula with a little cereal added to keep him satisfied. He grew up healthy and strong and today a very successful man. No allergies, no colic and mommy and daddy had good night sleep!!!
Thank you Pablum!

2009 Dec 16
Food and Think: New baby, new home, new job, new culture...... every thing was new and it happend all at once. There was no wonder why I was so close to become a "basket case" that year...lol

cakelady: Wow 12 lbs at birth!!! Mine was 8 lbs and I thought he was too big!